(Editorial cartoon by Mike Luckovich and published 5/11/12 by the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Click on image to enlarge and then come back.)
I thought about a tamer title for this post ("And I Invented The Internet"), but I'm feeling particularly shrill right now when it comes to Mitt Romney and all things Republican. This yahoo is pushing all of my buttons and wearing on my last nerve, something one shouldn't do with an old lady because we don't fight fair. We don't have to.
In any case, Mike Luckovich's cartoon pretty much captures the whole idea of this post and Romney's campaign. He will say anything, absolutely anything to get a vote, even though it takes very little to establish that the man is lying through his gold trimmed teeth. In this case, it has to do with his assertion that he helped save the American auto industry with his idea in 2008 of a "managed bankruptcy."
Fortunately for us, and unfortunately for him, the internet provides us with a wonderful way to check on such things, and WaPo's Fact Checker went back and looked it up. Romney did indeed call for a managed bankruptcy, but one that did not involve and federal assistance.
As Romney put it, “Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.” In particular, he called for a “managed bankruptcy.” This is a process in which the company uses the bankruptcy code to discharge its debts, but emerges from the process a leaner, less leveraged company. ...
The problem is that many independent analysts have concluded that taking the approach recommended by Romney would not have worked in late 2008, simply because the credit markets were so frozen that a bankruptcy was not a viable option.
“The circumstances in the global credit markets in November and December 2008 were unlike any the financial markets had seen in decades. U.S. domestic credit markets were frozen in the wake of the Lehman bankruptcy, and international sources of funding were extremely limited,” concluded the bipartisan Congressional Oversight Panel, in a unanimous finding. “Bankruptcy with reorganization of the two auto companies using private DIP [debtor in possession] financing did not appear to be an option by late fall 2008, leaving liquidation of the firms as the more likely course of action absent a government rescue.” ...
Indeed, when Romney reiterated earlier this year that he believed that a managed bankruptcy was viable without government intervention, he was criticized by auto industry insiders.
Mike Jackson, the chief executive of AutoNation, wrote a letter to the the Detroit News saying that Romney was “truly reckless, detached from reality and dishonest… Mitt’s assertion that private financing ‘DIP’ was available in fall of ’08 into ’09 is fantasy. Everyone knows we were in the midst of the greatest financial meltdown since the 1930’s.” And Bob Lutz, former vice chairman at GM, said, “What these people always deliberately forget is there was no money. Nobody had any money.”
Furthermore, while Romney can certainly argue he consistently supported a managed bankruptcy, it is especially odd to also try to take credit for the industry’s more recent success. [Emphasis added.]
In other words, if Washington had followed Romney's actual advice, there wouldn't have been any recovery for the Big Three. In fact, there wouldn't have been any Big Three. His advice was typical shortsighted Bain philosophy. For him to take credit for that advice at this point is laughable. Worse, it is profoundly dishonest.
Kudos to WaPo for the Pinocchio Award for this blatant lying.